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DSG durability

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by thesutex, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. thesutex
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    thesutex New Member

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    I´m waiting for a 1.4 tfsi DSG A3 SB, and was happy about that untill reading the papers today (in sweden). They had a story on how VW group stopped selling Passat to Taxi companies because dsg7 boxes failed 1-3 times in 3 years on these cars, and how the insurance companies confirmed DSG(mostly 7speed) boxes are failing across the line in VAG cars. Often just outside warranty... reading some on the internet, this seems to be happening elsewere as well

    Anything to worry about? Thought on DSGs? experiences with DSGs?
    #1
  2. Johnny Bravo
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    Johnny Bravo 6+1 Gears

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    DSG7 with dry clutches are a failed experiment on people's money.
    #2
  3. NHN
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    NHN Modmetractor Site Sponsor

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    Any links to the reviews & problems?
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  4. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    I've had four A3s with 6-speed wet clutch DSGs over the last 9 years and 120k miles and not a single problem with any of them.
    #4
  5. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Active Member

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    I believe it's this article, but you'll need to translate it.

    http://www.teknikensvarld.se/2012/12/29/37192/volkswagen-passat-slut-som-taxi/
    #5
  6. vwgti
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    vwgti Member

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    Bloody swedes
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  7. Kristian83
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    Kristian83 New Member

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    Why?
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  8. vwgti
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    vwgti Member

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    The story of the taxi drivers above

    making me worried about the s tronic i just ordered!
    #8
  9. Kristian83
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    Kristian83 New Member

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    The germans are probably the ones to be blamed.

    The Stronic-7 in my A1 sucks balls compared to the DSG-6 in my former Golf 5 GTI... :(
    #9
  10. vwgti
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    vwgti Member

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    I drove the a1 with s tronic and the car felt it was to small/light for the s tronic box, kept changing gears every few seconds, up down up down

    im hoping that the extra weight in a3 would make it better
    #10
  11. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    Don't leave in D and drive the car yourself, it's much more fun and easy to do without the clutch pedal. I'm on the 4th A3 with a s-tronic and hardly ever use D or S.
    #11
  12. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    hmmm... is a S-tronic the same as a DSG... move it down to D then left for M?

    I personally find D smoother than M changes.

    S is hard to beat for overtraking.

    ... but I am still learning the DSG.

    M is sometimes better for overtaking.
    #12
  13. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Active Member

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    As I said elsewhere, I believe the days of dual-clutch gearboxes are numbered. They're too complicated, too difficult and expensive to manufacture and too heavy. The old-style 6-speed wet clutch model was clearly superior but, in an effort to alleviate some of these problems, they've obviously tried to cut some corners with the 7-speed dry clutch one and, from the sounds of things, it's nowhere near as good.

    With the improvements in full autos and automated single-clutch manuals, I think dual-clutch gearboxes will end up being a very niche market in the future.
    #13
  14. Chelmersteve
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    Chelmersteve Member

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    The 7 speed dry clutch DSG / S-tronic is fine and well proven. Going for dry clutches was nothing about cost saving but about weight saving. The old 6 speed is simply too heavy for the smaller, lighter cars. It won't be long before the original 6 speed disappears as the new 7 speed transverse and in line DSG boxes are now available.
    As to twin clutch boxes disappearig - what nonsense. If anything, its more likely that they will become standard with manuals disappearing.
    #14
  15. Trev241
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    Trev241 Member

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    Sad days indeed:3sadwalk:
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  16. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    The main difference between the 7-speed and 6-speed DSG is the amount of torque they can handle. The 7-speed used on the transverse engine is also lighter than the 6-speed. The new 7-speed version for in-line engine is totally different to the 7-speed for the transverse engine and can handle even higher torque levels up to 500-500Nm.

    As for DSG/s-tronic becoming a niche market, I think that in time, as Audi in particular are fitting s-tronic gearboxes to more and more cars in their range, including a lot of the top spec S models, it will be the manual gearbox that will become the niche market just as it is already in the USA. Development of the s-tronic will continue and who knows what they will be like, but at least development is taking place whereas the manual has not changed in years. The idea of having to use a clutch pedal just to change from one gear to another is very old fashioned technology and very out of touch with all the new technology being fitted to the latest models.
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  17. Kristian83
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    Kristian83 New Member

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    The 8-speed ZF known from BMW (but also available on the Audi A8 I think ) - is more promising than the S tronic to me.
    #17
  18. Artimus
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    Artimus Short Back

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    In the article above, VW are saying the issues are caused by the Taxi Drivers & that particular Eco-model not being able to cope with the amount of stop\start driving they do.

    Here's the link with some translation: Google Translate

    Have to add that my 6 Speed DSG has been flawless in the 8 months I've owned it, but I too have read that the 7 speeds fitted to smaller engined cars have been problematic! Hopefully VAG have made sufficient updates to combat the problems by now.
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  19. Chelmersteve
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    Chelmersteve Member

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    As always it's the problems that hit the media. There are thousands of 7 speed dry DSG boxes out there that have given no problems at all but that's not headline grabbing. I imagine in the overall scheme of things that it's a very small proportion of the total that have given problems - pretty much the same as anything else, there's always going to be rogues about.
    #19
  20. torquemaster
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    torquemaster New Member

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    #20
    carman likes this.
  21. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    I really can't see Audi making S-Tronic standard until such a time as nearly all customers are opting for it. In the S models where they made it standard, I think that's more of an experiment and a way of adding value. I'd be prepared to wager that the vast majority of Audi customers still specify manual cars. It would be economic suicide to drop the manual box.

    Just look at Mercedes as an example. During the 1990s and onwards no-one bought a manual merc. Yet they still kept the auto as an option. Still today, the majority of new Mercedes are autos but the manual option is still the standard option. In fact, since the latest C-Class was introduced in 2007 they've been trying hard to convince buyers that their manual box is as good as the competition.
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  22. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Active Member

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    I never said that dual-clutch gearboxes would lose out to manuals but rather that they'd lose out to conventional autos and automated single-clutch 'boxes. With the improvements to these technologies over the last few years, they've eroded many of the advantages of dual-clutches and are still lighter and simpler and cheaper to make.

    The VAG group may be pushing onward with the dual-clutch technology but very few other manufacturers are and that says something to me. If it was the panacea to all the world's gearbox problems, every manufacturer would be on the bandwagon by now. That this isn't the case merely confirms that, despite having certain advantages, they also do have some significant disadvantages.
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  23. Chelmersteve
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    Chelmersteve Member

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    I don't know what you mean by 'conventional' auto gearbox but to me it means torque converter and they're too inefficient.
    As to other manufacturers not supporting dual clutch , how do you explain the fact that Ford, Fiat, General Motors, Mercedes, Peugeot, Mitsubishi, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Nissan, Borg Warner, Getrag, ZF, Graziani, Ricardo have all brought out dual clutch boxes? Thats' a pretty big bandwagon to me but as with everything it's horses for courses.
    #23
  24. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    At the moment the following manufacturers make some form of dual-clutch transmissions:


    and they are used by the following car makers:


    No doubt the Volkswagen Group will change to some more advanced form of transmission when they consider the time is right, but at the moment they consider their DSG/s-tronic to be the best alternative to the old-fashioned manual clutch and gearbox and are fitting a version of it to an increasing number of models. Audi alone currently offer a version on 133 models. On some of the models they also offer a manual but on others s-tronic is the only option.
    #24
  25. Trev241
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    Trev241 Member

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    Took the new S6 Avant out for half a day on test, a real beast ruined by S Tronic. Great shame.
    #25
  26. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    Did you drive it or just leave it in D/S?
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  27. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    No - but it appears that some are convinced Audi are working towards fitting more and more cars with DSG/S-Tronic as standard.

    I couldn't agree more with your comments. In the new BMW 3 series, there's very little difference in fuel economy (in fact they put most VAG cars to shame on economy) between auto and manual with barely perceptible shifts.

    It then comes down to the age old debate of manual v's auto. DSG has to be compared to auto - for me there's no comparison to a manual as changing gear via paddles is so uninvolving. The bits I liked about DSG when I bought them were the minimal impact on fuel economy and performance compared to a standard auto. Once a standard auto does the same, there's no differentiation.
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  28. Chelmersteve
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    Chelmersteve Member

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    What for goodness sake is a 'standard auto' ? The vast majority these days are double clutch devices with some single clutch ones creeping in at the bottom end.
    #28
  29. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    If you don't like the idea of the paddles you could always use the centre lever. It works just as well, slight push forward to change up and slight pull back to change down. I assume you would prefer a car without power assisted steering or power assist brakes as both of these take away some of the driver 'involvement' in just the same way as power assisted gear-changing.

    With a 'normal' auto a lot depends on whether it has the ability for the driver to decide when to change gear. For me, without this ability, driving would become far less involving and enjoyable. But with all my s-tronic equipped cars I have always put it in the manual/tiptronic mode and change gear when I decide. It's just great not having to keep pushing a clutch pedal down every time and the gear changes are very fast and can be made without having to release the throttle. It's also samll things like automatically selecting first whenever you stop. One day all cars will be like this!!

    Having driven a lot of cars with manual gearboxes over the years and four with s-tronic, I just don't get this thing that you have to have a clutch pedal to be a 'real' driver and for it to be 'involving' and enjoyable'. Personally I have enjoyed my driving just as much, if not even more so, with my last four A3s with s-tonic boxes.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
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  30. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Active Member

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    Have to say I didn't realise how many dual-clutch gearboxes were out there - my mistake.

    Maybe I'm wrong then. Perhaps my personal hatred of DSG/S-Tronic is biasing my opinion. Oh well.
    #30
  31. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    Does it matter?

    As far as I'm concerned, an auto is one that changes gear for me. I'm really not interested in the technology behind it, as long as the fuel consumption and performance are not affected and it does the job smoothly.

    The issue is 'clouded' when people try and argue that a particular auto gearbox is comparable to a manual. This I just don't get.

    If you want an auto, get an auto. If you want a manual, then get a manual. Anything in between is a compromise in my opinion.

    I had an A4 2.8 Quattro back in 2000 which had a traditional torque converter auto. It was one of the most comfortable and relaxing cars I've owned, despite pretty poor fuel consumption! When driving home on the back roads, I used to flick it into tiptronic mode and use the 'manual' option to maintain control through the bends. However, it was never as good as a manual gearbox for this particular application, but a good compromise.

    The same could be said for the DSG cars I've owned.
    #31
  32. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    Out of interest, what is it that you 'hate' about a DSG?. Have you driven one for any length of time?

    I don't know how old you are but you may find that one day in the future you may not have a choice.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
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  33. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    I agree as far as a torque converter type auto us concerned, but an DSG can be both an auto and a manual depending on the position of the centre lever. My DSG only changes gear when I ask it to, apart from automatically changing into first whenever I stop, which I want it do anyway. It will intervene if I try and do sometime stupid, like select first gear do 100mph, but other than that it's just power assisted gear changing.

    The basic construction inside the DSG is very much like a normal manual gearbox. The main difference is that the clutch is operated automatically and the syncromesh cones for the individual gears are moved by forks driven by oil pressure rather than mechanically.
    #33
  34. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    Maybe we're looking at this from different angles.

    Firstly, the power assisted steering or brakes don't really detract from the 'feel' of the car. Audi used to be heavily criticised for numb electric steering and they've tried hard to rectify this. The BMW 1 series also came in for similar criticism. However, S-Tronic really does change the driving characteristics of the car. If you try manual and auto versions of the same car back-to-back, they feel very different.

    I considered S-Tronic on my new A3. The benefits of S-Tronic for me are the 'auto' option, not the manual. If I want a manual gearbox, there's no substitute for a real manual gearbox. I really can't see the point of spending £1500 for what I consider a 'compromise' in that respect. I also considered an auto box on my current A4, but the CVT auto was the only one offered and was appalling to drive. If S-Tronic was available at that time, I'd have taken it as the offset pedals in the A4 are frustrating.

    I know that the hesitation coming out of a junction will annoy me. You also have no clutch control on an S-Tronic.... it's stop or go. I don't think you have anywhere near as much overall control with S-Tronic as you do with manual.

    However, when my left knee starts playing up again I'll probably get an S-Tronic as the best compromise.
    #34
  35. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    This is the bit I really don't get.

    If I really want a manual, why would I want to pay £1500 for S-Tronic which works 'just like a manual'?
    #35
  36. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    That's very simple. To get the option of being able to change gear at the flick of a lever or paddle with having to keep pressing a clutch pedal. To get automatic selection of first gear whenever you stop. to get the aption, particularly with a diesel to auto change from first to second as you pull away before selecting the manual option. To get the ability to change up at full throttle. To get the option of auto when crawling in traffic. With the latest version of the A3 and Golf, to get automatic moving forward, keeping the same distance from the vehicle in front in a traffic queue using the s-tronic combined with the Adaptive Cruise Control.

    Many people spend a lot of money on 'options' when the buy a new car. To me the £1400 I've spent on the s-tronic option on my last four A3s is money well spent. Having owned 19 cars with a manual gearbox and the last four with an s-tronic gearbox I would never want another car without one. It's like the service manager of the dealer I used some while ago said, when he lent me his car for the week-end to try out the air conditioning back in 1988, long before it became almost standard on cars. He said the only problem with air-con is that once you've had a car fitted with it you will never want one with it. To me it's the same with the s-tronic.
    #36
  37. h5djr
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    h5djr Active Member

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    To avoid any hesitation at junctions you have to learn a slightly different technique. I don't have any problem. It all adds to the enjoyment of driving a modern car, where so much has become automated or assisted.
    #37
  38. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Active Member

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    I test drove one for a good few hours in all types of conditions when DSG first appeared on the A3. Whilst the gearchanges were very smooth when "pressing on", I despised the hesitation, both when pulling away from a standstill and when accelerating sharply whilst cruising at a constant speed. Maybe these have been improved now but, back then, it seemed to have far too many of the disadvantages of regular torque converter automatics and it just annoyed me.

    FWIW, I'm 45.

    Sorry but, whilst you may be able to mitigate the hesitation through technique, you'll never get rid of it completely simply because of the way any automatic works and the lack of a manual clutch. If you need to make a very fast getaway from a standstill then, in a manual, you'll raise the revs and bring the clutch up to just under the biting point. When the time comes to move you can then release the clutch and move away instantly.

    In an automatic this can't happen because you have no way of raising the revs before you intend to move. You have to wait then press the accelerator when the time comes, at which point the revs have to be allowed to rise before the gearbox can release the clutch and you start to move. There will always be a delay whilst this occurs and thus you'll never be able to move away as quickly as in a manual.

    The only way around this is to use a launch control system which does what you'd do in a manual - allow the revs to rise whilst keeping the clutch disengaged, then release the clutch when you want to move. In my experience, all such launch control systems are a pain in the neck as you have to perform some additional functions to set the system, which you don't want to be doing every time you want to make a sharp getaway. In my view, such systems are generally added to look funky on the spec sheet and to improve quoted 0-60 times.

    There is a simple way around the problem, and that's to make the launch control system triggerable simply by holding the foot brake. It would be easy to have a system whereby, if you keep your left foot on the brake and then press the accelerator, the launch control is activated and the revs are allowed to rise without the clutch releasing. When you take your foot off the brake the car would then launch. Unless I'm much mistaken, such a system isn't used on any cars right now without first enabling the system by other means. Probably because the foot/pedal movements required are counter-intuitive and it promotes left-foot braking which isn't the accepted practice.
    #38
  39. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    Yet none of the above cause me a problem whilst driving, so I still can't see the merit of spending £1500 to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

    You've hit the nail on the head there. It's a personal choice where each buyer will consider whether they'd get any value from it and if so, how much.

    And likewise, I think I'm the opposite. After two DSG cars, I returned to manual. It's an option I regularly consider but for the last three cars I've been happy to live without. It's certainly not one of those 'can't live without' options for me.
    #39
  40. hittchy
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    hittchy Member

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    You're right about launch control being a gimmick for the 'boy racers'. I can honestly say I never used it. I just don't think it would work in practice as an everyday system. I couldn't abide the car holding a high RPM whilst I waited for a gap in traffic on a roundabout.

    I'd rather just buy a manual gearbox!
    #40

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